Posts tagged 2017 News

The Political Fight Over When School Should Start

Dollar signs abound in a renewed debate this spring over when Michigan schools should be able to start their academic years. A bill that would lift the state’s current ban on school starting before Labor Day advanced out of a Senate committee in March. But the bill, Senate Bill 271, is facing major pushback from business groups. read more

posted on 04/24/2017

Races For Michigan's 14 Seats In The U.S. House Attracted About $40 Million Last Cycle

Despite the fact that none of the general election results were close, the campaigns for Michigan's 14 congressional seats drew about $40.0 million, according to a review of campaign finance disclosures. About 17 percent of that total — $7 million — came from so-called “independent” spenders that can pay for unlimited amounts of TV ads and mailers to try to influence elections. read more

posted on 04/05/2017

Michigan Lawmakers Disclosed Having More Than 400 Fundraisers Last Year

State lawmakers who served in the Legislature last year self-reported having 414 campaign fundraisers in 2016, according to MCFN’s review of hundreds of campaign finance disclosures. About 46 percent of the events, 192 fundraisers, took place in Lansing on days either the House or the Senate was scheduled to be in session. read more

posted on 03/27/2017

Secret Donors And Interest Groups Continue To Dominate Races For Michigan’s Highest Court

The 2016 races for Michigan's highest court weren't competitive. Still, they attracted millions of dollars — much of it coming from undisclosed sources, as is the tradition in Michigan — with the winning side outspending the losing side by an estimated margin of 34 to one. “I was telling people it was 20 to one,” one of the losing candidates said. “I wanted to be conservative. And I guess I was.” read more

posted on 03/16/2017

2016: Another Record Year For Lobbying In Lansing

Last year saw more spending on lobbying than any year before, according to new filings with the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office. Lobbyists in Michigan reported spending $39.99 million in 2016. It continues a general upward trend for spending to influence lawmakers. The previous high came just one year before in 2015 when lobbyists reported $38.66 million in spending. read more

posted on 03/03/2017

How Millions Of Dollars In Dark Money Helped Shape Michigan’s 2016 Elections

Michigan’s 2016 elections saw millions of dollars in political spending from groups whose donors remain hidden from public view. The Michigan Campaign Finance Network analyzed TV ad-tracking data and reviewed thousands of pages of disclosures on ad purchases to determine at least $6 million was spent on political TV ads in 2016 by groups whose donors didn’t have to be disclosed. read more

posted on 02/27/2017

DeVos Family Has Made At Least $82 Million In Political Contributions Since 1999, According To Campaign Finance Disclosures

While it’s impossible for the public to find out exactly how much money West Michigan’s DeVos family has spent on politics over the years, the number must fall somewhere above $82 million. As the U.S. Senate considers whether to confirm Betsy DeVos, former chair of the Michigan Republican Party, as U.S. education secretary, the Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN) attempted to track her family's extensive political giving over the years. read more

posted on 01/27/2017

In Michigan, The Jump From Lawmaker To Lobbyist Is Usually A Quick One

Unlike Michigan, more than 30 states already have “cooling-off” measures in place, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Facing term limits, 38 lawmakers departed the Michigan House at the end of 2016. If recent history is any indication, several will become lobbyists, and those who do will most likely make the jump within the next six months. read more

posted on 01/17/2017

Some Potential Candidates For Governor Are Sitting On Stockpiles Of Campaign Cash

Multiple political operatives said this week a candidate for Michigan governor in a competitive primary race in 2018 would likely need about $3 million dollars in funding to contend in the primary alone. Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, a Republican, and U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, a Democrat — all potential candidates — are already on their way to that figure. And former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, has officially begun her fundraising efforts. read more

posted on 01/06/2017

A Boom Truck, A Campaign Sign And A Question Of Corporate Influence

In the murky world of campaigns and corporate spending to influence politics, answers can be elusive. More than two years after a company's boom truck was used to fly a Michigan House candidate's sign above a busy stretch of road, there are still questions about why the effort wasn't disclosed as campaign spending. read more

posted on 01/04/2017

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